Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Run Like A Mother

     Several months ago.....over 6 to be exact the Doc and I made a decision.....to run a half-marathon together. There were several reasons for this. No, we aren't total idiots (or are we??!) because I had done one before .....lets just say a VERY long time ago....and since then I have done sprint triathlons, 5k's, 10k's but to date nothing longer than that first half-marathon. Since we have adopted the girls I have been really sporatic about running/exercising because of 1. time, 2. time, 3. time., 4. who would I leave the girls with? 5. time. 6. adoption issues. 7. Did I say time? Since the littles are not in a 5 day a week all day school where I drop them off and go (none of our kiddos have been educated that way)....time to train has been spotty.
     This year...it was time. (Cue Rocky music here.) You see, I had a rather big birthday this year. I am determined not to age 'old' nor age with 'plastic' but to age fit. It is an incredible amount of work. I also think it's important to challenge yourself with hard both mentally and physically as we continue to 'run our races' until our last day on this planet. I want my life to not be wasted....I don't want to grow old and 'soft'. Retirement is simply not an option. Whether in my 50's, 60's or 70's in order to be able to serve unhindered in His Kingdom you must stay fit on the inside and outside. I just don't see it as an option. Also, I want to set an example for my children to follow....and to leave a legacy they would want to emulate. I want my children to not be afraid of hard….even when the challenge seems insurmountable. I (We) felt it was important to show them this. This race was a bucket list thing for me and one I want to continue...... So I put on my running shoes and started going....hot flashes and all. 
     The Doc and I have been training. He is also training for his 3rd Ironman next year so I knew he was in better shape than me. However.....he has not done any kind of formal race for time since he was hit by a car while riding his bike a few years ago in a near fatal accident. (Cue crickets here.) It has been a rough road for this guy. He knows suffering. He doesn't complain. I've watched it all. He's healed. I fell apart but came back even stronger. Yep, Team Mama and the Doc are a force.
     We both knew we had similar, yet different points to prove by completing this Half-Marathon.( For you non-runners....it's 13.1 miles of trudging.... one.foot.in.front.of.the.other.) Yes, it's a physical test of endurance but for me.....it's proving that I can overcome.....that I can commit to a challenge and win....that I don't have to accept aging without a fight..because it IS a fight...and that if you put your mind to something hard and do the sweating, toiling work....it can and will reap a dividend. Women...it's ok to sweat. In fact it will inspire your children to work hard and do the same.
     We chose Disney's Wine and Dine Half-Marathon to complete for several reasons. You can probably guess the first two....you get to Wine....and you get to Dine because the end of  this race stops at the entrance to Epcot's Food and Wine Festival that takes place each year at this time. It's one of our fav events to attend to so win, win, win, win. The catch for this race was that it started at ahem.....10pm. Oh, and that's the elite runners only. (Sorry to say that's not us…heh.) Over 14,000 runners ran this race this year. The waves of progressively slower runners are started at regular intervals up until 10:40. So basically.....when you are supposed to be sleeping, you make your body get up and run 13.1 miles for HOURS then tell it to eat and drink wine afterward. Yep, we did that. Disney places Dj's, characters and lots of entertainment all along the race route making it a giant party as the course loops through Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot.
That's over 14,000 people right there at the start. It was crazy organized. Hats off to Disney. They run amazing events.
I wear compression socks for my plantar fasciitis.  They are fine and schmancy.
      The last words from Blondie as we headed out to the race were, "Mom, run like a mother!" I was ready. The Doc was more than. I knew that if I could do this.....that mental toughness so needed in life, in the mission field, raising adopted kids was terra firma. I had no doubts.
Crossing the finish line. I couldn't feel my foot. I was nauseous. It was 1:40 am. We did it….thank Jesus!
      By mile 10 my right foot was completely numb. I ran the last 3 miles not feeling anything on my right foot....I kept going. I could do hard. I had learned how. I got nauseated and stayed that way most of the race. We passed people throwing up. I kept going.. I had to. Most of this battle was mental. Hard. But I knew I could do hard….I was doing hard. I felt sick. My back went into spasm. I ran a fever the whole next day. I never once thought about quitting. I told the Doc to go on ahead because he was way faster than me but he wouldn't. He stayed by my side.
     It took 3 hours....but we did it. Yes, we ran for 3 flipping hours. Smile. We crossed the finish line together. This was a spiritual, mental and physical victory for both of us as we threw off old baggage that lay behind and are now running poised, ready and sharp for what's ahead. Symbolic victories are the bomb. We're excited and I hope you are inspired…..if we can do it you can too!!! Go! Climb your mountain!
Our shirts and medals.
The big finish! On to the Food and Wine Festival to party till 4am (oh yes we did!)
Would I do this again? Uhm, yes. Full marathon? Heck to the no.

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